In 2017, the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project (hereafter the "Project") continued its focus on discovering and sharing the history of Fort St. Joseph while emphasizing the importance of community partnerships. This was a logical theme for 2017 since the Project has long been a collaboration between Western Michigan University (WMU) faculty and students, the City of Niles, the Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Advisory Committee (see Appendix A), interested stakeholders, supporters, members, and community volunteers in the greater Niles area. In addition, the Project has embraced a community service-learning model to guide our field, laboratory, and outreach activities. Students learn by providing a service to the Niles community and benefit from the overwhelming local, regional, and national support that ensures the success of the Project. We thank our numerous volunteers, sponsors, donors, and partners for their generosity (for a complete list of sponsors and supporters, as well as a financial statement, see Appendices B, C, and D). This report summarizes the Project’s recent activities including the 2017 excavations, site documentation, laboratory work, public education and outreach initiatives, Advisory Committee accomplishments, and dissemination of results to professional and general audiences (see Appendix E for a complete listing of our activities).
Some of our 2017 highlights include:
• The partnership between Western Michigan University and the City of Niles was extended for an additional five years through 2022.
• The Project hosted its eighth annual lecture series in partnership with the Niles District Library and featured nationally and internationally recognized speakers who discussed community partnerships and collaboration.
• Nearly 1,000 visitors of all ages came to the Archaeology Open House to learn about archaeology and experience eighteenth-century life through lectures, ongoing investigations, and educational activities.
• The 2017 summer camp program provided hands-on archaeological experience for eighteen middle school, high school, and adult campers.
• Neil Hassinger was named the 2017 Volunteer of the Year.
• Project representatives helped to host Michigan Archaeology Day in Lansing, Michigan, where they discussed the archaeology of Fort St. Joseph with hundreds of attendees.
• Students and staff posted regular blog entries throughout the year and more intensively during the field season to keep followers up to date on recent discoveries and public outreach activities.
• The Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project’s Facebook page surpassed 1,300 likes.
WMU ScholarWorks Citation
Nassaney, Michael, "Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project 2017 Annual Report" (2018). Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project. 76.